The clarity on the resumption of click and collect retail services, provided in yesterday’s announcement has been welcomed.
Under the easing of lockdown restrictions confirmed by the government on Thursday, non-essential retail will be allowed to resume click and collect services from May 10.
Digital Business Ireland (DBI), a representative body for digital, ecommerce and online businesses welcomed this confirmation, saying that it would give businesses the time they need to prepare their stock, staff members, and safety measures for reopening.
After months of almost all retail being closed in the second full lockdown, there is an “acute need” for a successful reopening.
Under the Level 5 lockdown conditions imposed after Christmas, non-essential retail has only been allowed to operate via online shopping and delivery.
This has been a source of frustration for many businesses, especially as larger retailers have continued to operate parts of their business which would be deemed non-essential if it were a stand-alone business.
Lorraine Higgins, Secretary-General of DBI said “While our members fully understood the need for enhanced public restrictions in January, at the peak of the third wave of Covid-19, with the reducing numbers of cases it makes sense to strike this balance.”
The organisation has preparing a best practice guide for their members to safely offer a click and collect service.
“Thanks to the clarity provided by Government, Irish retailers will now be able to invest, with confidence, in their stock requirements and facilities in preparation for the resumption of click-and-collect services.
“In a context in which many retailers cannot afford to make unnecessary investments, this clear commitment will be greatly valued by businesses across the country and the move will create space for a successful reopening of the retail sector.”
The DBI said that while the level of online shopping by Irish consumers has been increasing steadily in recent months, progress has been “slipping” on increasing the share of that spend going to Irish businesses, which this will hopefully help to correct.